2023 Term 2 - Mid Term Newsletter
Just when you think things cannot get any better in our growing community, Term 2 continues to keep on giving. We returned after the holiday break to fobbed access across the school and new carpet laid in the main building and freshening up our learning spaces. Students were quick to recognise the change … and quick to give their opinion on the colour, smell and texture! We continue to look forward to the handover of our new classrooms soon.
The greatest highlight thus far was a very special visit from the newly installed bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, his Holiness, Bishop Michael Kennedy. St Dominic’s students and staff were blessed with this pastoral visit where Bishop Michael visited classrooms, was introduced to PLD program and educated on stick insects, he partook in prayer including blessing us, and was treated to chocolate cake and a coffee – the best in the Diocese! The students asked many interesting questions of our guest including how long he has been a bishop, what his favourite football team is, and his favourite colour. We hope Bishop Michael visits us again very soon, even if his choice of football team was “booed” by the students!
Occupational and Speech Pathologists have commenced across the school this term. The therapists will be supporting students and staff with implementation of supports and strategies to assist with self-regulation, communication, and social skills. Therapists have been visiting classrooms and social spaces to better understand our school and how they can assist with having the greatest impact working alongside staff.
This past week, along with most principals in the diocese, I attended the Australian Catholic Schools principals conference in the Diocese of Wollongong. The theme of the conference - ”New Hope, New Growth”. This theme resonated with me around the growth of our own community at St Dominic’s and the continued hope we have for our students to achieve, to support them reach their goals and do their best. Reminding us that no matter what lays ahead of us ‘education is investment, not expenditure’, and at St Dominic’s we continue to invest in our students- in their growth and hope, alongside the families we work with. This shared belief rang out so strongly this past week as we celebrated our mothers, grandmothers, and significant females, with a beautiful liturgy and high tea. I thank all those involved in the preparation of the event, and all those loved ones able to celebrate and share with us.
Blessings to you all,
Assistant Principal Report
The week I had the pleasure of working with our teaching staff during a Professional Learning Meeting around our school focus and progress with reading. This year we have introduced and implemented the Promoting Literacy Development (PLD), which is an evidence-based Literacy program.
This week I presented to staff information about the Simple View and Reading (Gough and Turner) and Scarborough’s Reading Rope (Dr Hollis Scarborough). Many staff are familiar with these reading models.
The Simple View of Reading is a formula. It explains that reading comprehension cannot occur unless both decoding skills and language comprehension abilities are strong.
The Scarborough Reading Rope is a useful way to consider reading in its widest sense. It uses a metaphor to describe becoming a fluent reader; like with the making of a rope – fibres, which are our different aspects of learning, are intertwined into big strands, which are our key areas of learning. As a child has more frequent exposure with the skill, the rope is twisted more often and becomes one tight rope, resulting in a fluent reader. The strands of the rope are: Word Recognition (Decoding, Phonological Awareness, Sight Recognition) and Language Comprehension (Vocabulary, Background Knowledge, Language Structures, Literacy Knowledge and Verbal Reasoning) Our PLD program is targeting the word recognition strand in a very structured and highly repetitive manner.
Comprehensive reading instruction should and does include all the fibres of both strands. Language comprehension is not usually taught in discrete lesson like phonics, it instead is taught across the curriculum and embeded within it. This is why any ‘story time’ is important to assist in the reading development of our students.
Staff were able to collaborate with the different approaches they are using to teach and facilitate reading skills within classes. In addition, we looked at PLD reading and spelling DATA for two classes. As a teaching group we discussed what the DATA is showing, to in turn help inform our practice and support student progress. It was lovely to see some wonderful gains from a number of students.
Thank you to Mrs Cate Chapman and Mrs Lisa Turner for creating a Scarborough Reading Rope on display in our school gallery.
During our recent PEG, I had the pleasure to present on the importance of using visuals to support communication. We all use visuals in our everyday life – I use a diary, calendar, shopping list, to do list, recipes, and rely on visual signs in the community for directions. Verbal or auditory information is only temporary, as it is said and then gone. When using a visual aide, it allows the information to be present as long as you need, which helps with processing time. Every classroom at St Dominic's has a visual timetable and visuals to help with emotional regulation (e.g. Zones of Regulation). Every student also has access to visuals to help complete a multi-step task, to understand their own individual routine, or social stories to help with a particular skill. Each individual student may require a different visual to match the student’s ability, e.g., picture, photo, or real object. If you would like anymore support on using visuals in the home environment, please contact myself or your class teacher.
Our highlight for Week 4 was our day camp to Port Wolstoncroft!!! We were excited to travel in a coach and participate in kayaking, archery, as well as baking damper using the campfire.
Each day in Red Class brings many different experiences. The students arrive each day with smiles on their faces, an eagerness to play with their friends and when the bell goes, they are knocking on the door to come into class. We couldn’t ask for more at this stage of their schooling.
With the beginning of Term 2, Kindergarten began the school literacy program, Promoting Literacy Development (PLD). We are now into our third week of learning sounds and students can demonstrate their understanding using oral language (sounds), movement and motor (actions for each sound) and/or using manipulatives generated for individual needs.
Students have also been engaging in a sensory integration program each morning before they begin their lessons. Essential Moves is a program which was developed by a teacher who had a child with additional needs. The program focusses on students ‘crossing the midline’ in various ways that are meant to be fun. It has been used at St Dominic’s in the past with great success. Students engage with the program for approximately fifteen minutes a day after unpacking bags. For further reading about ‘crossing the midline’ and why this is important you can refer to the link below.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our youngest students on their pleasing behaviour during the Mother’s Day Liturgy. This is the largest school gathering they have experienced. These events can be daunting and overwhelming but the students in Red Class shone brightly.
Although the Successful Foundations Program has formally finished, we continue to engage in structured play. There have been many moments where we have marvelled at the increase in collaborative play, imaginative ideas sharing and definitive growth in the ability to just play nicely together.
A few reminders
Lunch orders are due in on Monday morning for lunch on Tuesday.
Library books are to be returned each Thursday. Students can return and borrow new books.
Yellow Class has had a wonderful start to Term 2. We have done lots of fun and hands-on learning and have created wonderful artworks and craft.
In Literacy, we have continued to work on our letters, sounds and decoding skills during our PLD lessons. A big congratulations to Yellow Class for working hard and making improvement with their handwriting, letters, sounds and decoding. They should be proud. This Term we have been learning about Narratives, discovering that narratives allow us to enter and create other worlds. We have really enjoyed our class stories of ‘Wombat Stew’ and ‘Possum Magic’ where students have created characters, settings and making our own stories with these characters. Well done.
In Maths, we have enjoyed learning about numbers, using a range of strategies and number bonds to solve addition and subtraction. Yellow Class have really enjoyed learning about recognising and classifying 2D and 3D shapes and creating artworks of 2D shapes with slides, flips and symmetry. Wonderful work Yellow Class.
In Science, we are learning about the topic of forces. Yellow Class is exploring stationary objects that are subjected to pushes and pulls and investigating how the different strengths of pushes and pulls affect the movement of objects. We have enjoyed using a range of toys and hands-on experiences to experiment using pushes and pulls.
In Religion, are beginning to learn and understand what it means to belong to God’s family, recognising that all people belong to God’s human family and discovering ways of showing love and care for their family. Yellow Class has enjoyed listening to stories about families and learning about the 4th commandment.
We are looking forward to more wonderful learning in Term 2
Thank you Blue Class for a great return to school. All students have slipped back into routine, and we are happy learning and playing again. The term holds many exciting new adventures for us to explore.
The first half of the term we are learning some traditional prayers and making the sign of the cross. Prayer is an important part of our daily Morning Circle.
Students are progressing with PLD. We are now using spelling lists, dictation passages and fluency reading as part of our morning session. We will be focussing on learning to write a recount and expressing an opinion about the books we are reading. I have organised a Storytime Trip to Mayfield Library and am hoping we can make this a regular event.
We have been learning about time as well as flipping, turning and sliding 2D shapes. We are using games and creative play to build on these skills. Some of our students are also excelling at solving jigsaw puzzles.
Our topic this term takes us to the farm where we are learning where our food comes from and some of the processes that are involved in manufacturing our food from a natural source. We will also be having a very special surprise arriving in Week 8 that will help us understand lifecycles and caring for living things.
We are delving into the world of Picasso and trying our hand at some self-portraits- the children are much better than I am!!!
Each morning we are having a lively warm up session that involves some cardio work combined with essential moves. Each week we will have a different focus and we are very hot by the end of our session but its lots of fun.
Thank you for helping me support your children. Stay tuned for regular updates on Seesaw.
Aqua have done an amazing job at settling into Term 2 all students are continuing to show improvement in working towards personal goals as set in Term 1. We would like to say, “Thank you!” to all the mothers who were able to attend our classroom presentation after the liturgy. We all put a lot of thought into what we wanted to share, and it was a huge success.
This term we will be working on our community access program, going to the finally finished, brand-new Avon Park in Week 5 and 6. Students have successfully shown that they are able to follow instructions around the school and have completed our road safety signs lessons. We can’t wait for our first outing.
As a part of our Art program this term ‘self-portraits’, we will be participating in an incursion with Newcastle Art Gallery. We have trialled a few styles in the classroom and shared our thoughts and opinions on artists such as, Picasso, Van Gogh and Pop artist Andy Warhol. Everyone had a ball in our photography lesson where we were able to step behind and in front of the camera. Very impressive results by the whole class.
Being safe in the community, around people and with ourselves is our focus for the PDHPE program. Students will be identifying their trusted adults, safe and unsafe touch along with our rights and responsibilities. Aqua Class has shown that they have a good understanding of what is safe and unsafe. Excellent work.
During Religion, students will be exploring Hebrew Script and The Sacrament of Confirmation towards the end of term. Everyday we support each other in the classroom guided by our faith. Kindness and compassion for others is the key to our successful learning days.
With so much on this term we are glad to say that everyone is settled into our daily routine, and we are going from strength to strength every day. Thank you to our families and friends whose ongoing support we could not do without.
Every day we strive to shine, laugh, and learn!
Welcome Teal Families to Term 2 2023.
We have kicked off the term with some great activities and incredible learning performances from each student.
We have been tracking our progress in our Literacy program this year and I am so proud to report that from our recent testing this term we have seen a huge improvement from each child. Well done everyone.
We have been loving learning about multiplication and division through arrays in Math. We have been decorating our room with posters and artworks demonstrating our understanding of repeated addition. We even made some multiplication octopuses that are hanging from our ceiling.
On the 3rd of May we were lucky enough to attend the Inclusion Sports Day in Spears Point. All students participated and enjoyed sharing in the many activities throughout the day. We definitely have some very sporty friends in Teal Class.
In Science we have been learning all about forces, specifically push and pull. We worked in groups and did a scavenger hunt around the classroom looking for different pictures that demonstrated a force. With our friends we had a discussion to decide which force we think it was showing and how we came to that conclusion.
We have loved cooking this year and exploring new recipes. One of our favourites so far were mini apple pie parcels with ice cream. Yum!
English – Green Class have continued working towards individual goals in PLD this term and working towards writing sentences coupled with illustrations that reflect our writing. Students have engaged in stories focussing on language, including adjectives, verbs and nouns. We are also deconstructing compound sentences as we learn to expand on our writing.
Maths – We have been exploring equivalence in relation to addition, mass and grouping this term. The students have enjoyed using scales and interactive games to embrace their math’s lessons.
Science – Students have recently explored light, sound and heat energy, and how they are sensed and produced, investigating the differences between unpopped and popped popcorn. They infer simple cause and effect relationships from their observations and experiences (using the sun to melt a chocolate frog). Students have engaged in lessons on personal and community safety participating in conversations in public and private places, private body parts and safe and unsafe touching. All students have shown understanding in community safety and have been highly engaged in classroom discussions.
Camp was an absolute success!
All students participated in Kayaking, cooking damper around the campfire, Archery and Tennis. Green Class worked well as a team and connected with other peers during the activities building on their friendships. Congratulations to all students for giving everything a go, trusting your peers and setting an excellent example for everyone.
Students will be participating in an Art incursion on the 1st June where they will explore colour in different landscapes and learn techniques using a paintbrush to create different effects.
Welcome back to Term 2! Lime Class returned refreshed and ready to learn, and what a great start we have had. We have a busy term ahead of us in Lime, filled with fun learning and excursions to look forward to.
In English this term, Lime students are studying the Representation of Australia, exploring texts written by Australian authors and delving into Australian perceptions and Indigenous Aboriginal stories. Students read, view, and discuss written texts, comparing the different ways texts represent events and ideas. Sadly, we missed out on our excursion to the library for English due to the wet weather, however we look forward to going at another time during the term.
Our McDonald’s excursion started us off for Maths this term, measuring the distance to McDonald’s from school using a trundle wheel. We measured 653m from the gate and celebrated with a cold drink before returning to school. The students also made metre rulers and walked around the school to find different things to measure. This term we are continuing our learning on Measurement and Geometry, Statistics and Probability, and Numbers and Algebra, with another McDonald’s excursion in Week 7 to support our learning through real-world experiences.
We have a range of things happening across our Key Learning Areas including Science, Religion, CAPA, and PDHPE. In Week 6 we are participating in an Art incursion with other classes and have our Museum visit for Science in Week 8. Lime Class have lots of exciting outings to look forward to that reinforce the consolidation of learning through real-world experiences, as well as promoting being an active member of the community and practising life skills within each outing. We look forward to implementing our Happy & Healthy PDHPE approach, which involves us going on weekly walks to promote health and fitness. Keep an eye out for this note!
It was great to see so many smiling faces at camp! Lime enjoyed Kayaking, Archery, and making damper. It was a wonderful day for all involved. Amazing work Lime!
We look forward to another great term here in Lime and cannot wait to share with you our hard work.
Social and Emotional Learning
Secondary students have continued to develop their interpersonal skills and one forming lasting friendships. The learning opportunities during Cafe Club, St Dominic’s Bites, Community Access and Weekly Sport and PE have provided students with the opportunities to practice what they are learning.
This year’s Diosounds theme is Walk Together. This theme has come to life with a strong collaborative musical piece by St Dominic’s and San Clemente students. Weekly rehearsals have worked well, and St Dominic students continue to shine through with their creative ability.
Students had the opportunity to visit the Civic Theatre for a walk through with Civic Theatre and CSO staff to gain and understanding of their performances’ spaces, and gave an impromptu performance. Students involved in this production are very excited.
Diosounds performances for St Dominic’s students will take place on Thursday 8th June 2023 with matinee for schools and evening performances at 6:30pm. Tickets on sale via the Civic Theatre.
Café Club and St Dominic’s Bites Canteen
Café Club and Canteen Hospitality Skills programs have continued to be a success this term with secondary students displaying their culinary skills this term to visitors such as Bishop Michael Kennedy as well as the recent Mother’s Day High Tea making delicious hot drinks, brownies, and scones with jam & cream.
Students have also become more confident in using the Café Club orders app and further developing their functional maths skills.
Secondary students have weekly sport at Mayfield Balance developing fitness skills such and balance, coordination while using the resistance training and wall climbing equipment and increasing their cardiovascular fitness while using the cardio resistance training equipment.
Students have continued their weekly community access that aims to provide students with access to recreational activities and social opportunities which enables them to develop skills and competencies for greater independence. This has included their weekly shopping visits to Coles and a recent visit to Cims Café at Mayfield where students ordered their own drinks and conversed with each other in a social setting.
Point Wolstoncroft 2023
This term, 26 excited students ventured off to Point Wolstoncroft Sport and Recreational Centre for a day of Kayaking, Archery and damper making.
This is the largest group of students to attend St Dominic’s day camp and we cannot wait for other students from St Dominic’s to have this great learning experience.
Welcome back to school families! Get ready for an exciting term ahead, filled with lots of great activities and fundraisers.
We're incredibly grateful for everyone who supported our Easter Raffle, whether by donating eggs, gifts, or time. Together, we raised an impressive $1048, which we put towards restocking our playground equipment. Thanks to your contributions, we were able to purchase a bundle of HART large foam play equipment, as well as other exciting items like large trucks, cars, tracks, and stepping stones. It's been amazing to see the kids having so much fun with the new equipment
Broadmeadow McDonalds Fundraiser- Thank you to everyone that came out on Wednesday night to support this fundraiser. It was a great success with a total of $238-raised!
Thompson Pie's fundraiser will be running from 3rd July to 23rd July, which falls during the school holidays. As the dates approach, we will send out notifications via Compass and Facebook with instructions on how to order using our unique school code. All orders can be delivered to your front door for added convenience.
We're excited to announce that we've booked a Bunnings BBQ fundraiser for this year! Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 5th. We need volunteers to help us cook and serve the sausages, as well as donations of soft drinks, onions, and sausages. If you can spare an hour or have something to donate, please email us at email@example.com. Let's make this year's BBQ a success!
We are in need of some assistance with our upcoming Working Bee. If you are handy or know of any businesses that are interested in giving back to the community, we have some projects that may interest you. No date has been decided. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to offer your help."
We want to extend a big thank you to Warabrook Woolworths for their support with our Breakfast Club. Our Breakfast Club has now officially opened in Week 3, and we have a variety of options available such as toast with different toppings, cereal, yoghurts, milo and a range of fruits to choose from. We can even whip up a delicious ham and cheese toastie. It's not just limited to breakfast either - students have access to the selection all day. Additionally, we plan to have a pancake day once a month and change up the menu according to the season
I have set up a Staff Wellbeing wall in our staffroom, this has given staff an opportunity to give a Shout Out to another member. It’s important to recognise and appreciate the hard work of our colleagues. This is a wonderful way to foster positivity and connection among staff members. Including fun and uplifting content like recipes, jokes, and motivational quotes, it can also help boost morale and create a positive work environment.
Phew, that's all from me. I just wanted to express my gratitude for all your amazing support. It's fantastic to see our school community come together and support each other in these fundraising efforts. Let's keep up the great work.
Administration / Finance
Compass – Attendance
Please add an attendance note if your child is absent from school for a whole day only. If arriving to school late or leaving early, this will be entered by the office. Please see instruction on how to add an attendance note via your smart phone.
If you require any assistance, please contact the office on 4968 1295.
Thank you to all those who have commenced regular payments towards school fees and/or have already paid in full. If you have not yet made any contribution, please contact our office to discuss payment plan options.
- If paying fees by instalments, your payments should have already commenced and fees are expected to be paid in full by 30 November 2023.
- If your intention is to pay your schools fees in full, this payment is expected by 30 June 2023.
- Our preferred method of payment is either BPay, CentrePay, EFTPOS over the phone or Direct Debit.
- A new Direct Debit can be established or an amendment to existing Direct Debit is an option, please contact our office for a form.
- For those families experiencing financial hardship, or wishing to discuss other payment arrangements, please contact the school office on 4968 1295 to arrange an appointment with the Principal.
- St Dominic's will now commence the school fee management process if no initial payment has been received or if there has been no contact with our office.